Rovers 3.9.27 def Sharks 0.3.3
Goals Nick.K (2), James.M (1)
Beauy and Hampton had played to an exciting draw in their first meeting (Rover’s second draw in 2 weeks) and since then the 2 teams had tracked closely in the standings. With both teams situated on 2 wins, and Rovers only 3 percentage points ahead of the Sharks, this game was for bragging rights on who was the better team.
The Rovers had won the week before and after a high quality training session during the week, were ready for the contest. The Rovers won the toss and elected to kick with the wind with the plan to put immediate scoreboard pressure on the opposition. In the early part of the quarter we found ourselves second to the ball, limiting our ability to push forward. As the quarter went on, the team worked the ball forward and were able to kick the first goal of the match. But after kicking with a ~2 goal breeze, the Rovers knew that they needed to improve.
With the Sharks kicking with the wind in the second quarter, the Rovers needed to play smart defensive football, with plenty of run-and-carry, working together to move the ball forward. Despite Beauy raising their game, the Rovers were able to withstand the pressure, limiting the opposition to just couple of points, while the Rovers creates a few chances of our own.
In the third, the Rovers played the style of game they wanted to play in the first, with long kicking with the wind, running in support and aiming for the forward hot-spot. It was a dominant display by the Rovers, showing Beauy a clean set of heels as they outworked their opponents. The backline cleared the ball effectively when the opposition attacked, the mids ran hard both ways to the contest, and the forwards took their opportunities. The rovers kicked-ahead with 2 goals for the quarter, and leaving the opposition goaless.
The team were encouraged to put their stamp on the game in the fourth quarter, by shutting down the opposition who had the wind. the team structure was re-ordered, with some of our pressure players moved to the forward line to lock the ball forward and use-up the clock, while some of the running players moved back to clear the ball quickly when the opponent pushed forward. The Rovers performed exceptionally, stopping the Beauy forwards and rebounding into our forward line. The opposition were held scoreless despite the wind (!) and the Rovers had chances to kick a few goals themselves.
A top-shelf win for the Rovers, with contributions across the entire team. A very pleasing win that showed what the team is capable of.
- Marco’s strong leads in the forward line, with our midfield runners looking to kick to him. Marco also had a great effort deep in the pocket that almost resulted in a miraculous goal.
- James M’s strong mark and goal in the third, and multiple goal-saving interceptions in the last line of defense. He plays well wherever he is on the ground.
Nick K’s non-stop running, getting plenty of possessions and using each one to bring other Rovers into the game and propel the team forward. And 2 well deserved goals to boot!
- Jack G’s safe marking hands of the swirling ball in the strong wind, especially in the second half
- Chevi O’s, Jake M’s and Ben D’s forward pressure to lock the ball inside our forward 50 in the last quarter.
Things we Did Right
- aiming for the hot spot. We showed a lot of discipline this week as we entered the forward line, focusing on the hot spot ~30m directly in front of goals. The wind pushed the ball into the pockets at times, but our efforts in centering the ball were mostly rewarded.
- clearing the forward line. The less-cluttered forward line was good to see, giving the forwards a chance to do their job. Still a work in progress, but good signs for future games.
- attacking from defence and defending from attack. Sounds counter-intuitive, but the Rovers demonstrated in the last quarter how there are multiple ways to win a game, especially with challenging conditions.
Room For Improvement (RFI’S)
- For the most part, we didn’t kick the ball off the ground, but sometimes we didn’t get down to it either, resulting in the ball bouncing through players legs. Something for us to practice this week.
- Adjusting to the wind. We talk about how we want to play differently with the wind and against the wind, and it is something that we are working to improve.